UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA.
to tfje 3&afctcai
GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND,
A BRIEF SKETCH OF ITS ORIGIN.
C. H. ELI, HIGH STREET, ISLINGTON; CHARLES FOX,
67, PATERNOSTER ROW.
Schedule A, the BallotiBg Place. 1. The space separated off by a close par-
tition, for the purposes of Secret Voting. 2. The entrance to the Ballot Box,
where the voter gives his vote. 3. The door by which the voter retires. 4. The
front of the Ballot Box, placed on a stand with an inclined plane, down which
the balloting ball descends, to be ready for the next voter. 5. The seat of the
deputy returning officer. 6. The seats of the Agents of the Candidates.
7. The desk of the Registration Clerk and his Assistant. 8. The Assistant, who
delivers the balloting ball to the voters. 9. Assistants and Constables at the
doors and barriers, who examine the certificates, and let the voter pass on to
the ballot. 10. A Constable, to stop any voter who may vote unfairly.
Schedule B, the Ballot Box. 1. The front of the Ballot Box, with the lid
down, showing five dials (or any number that may be necessary), on which are
engraven (or otherwise) numerals, from .one to any number of thousands that
inay be required, with hands (like the minute and hour hands of a clock) to re-
gister the number of votes. 2. The apertures, with the Candidates' names op-
posite, through which each voter drops a Brass Ball, which, falling in a zig-zag
direction, touches a clock-work spring, which moves a pinion on which the
hands are fastened, and thus registers one each time a person votes. 3. The
front of the Ballot Box, with the 'lid up and sealed. 4. The Stand, with the
Ball running down. 5. The line of the partition which makes the two rooms.
N.B. We understand that a Ballot Box of this description, has been in-
tented by Mr. Benjamin Jolly, 19, York Street, Bath, and it is so constructed
more than one ball can ie put in at a time by any voter.
A BRIEF SKETCH
ORIGIN OF THE PEOPLE'S CHARTER,
1. The following brief sketch of the origin of the
People's Charter may not be void of interest at this
period, when that important document engrosses so large
a share of public attention. It had its origin with a
political society, entitled the " London Working Men's
Association," a body well known to the radical public
from the able addresses it put forth on various subjects.
At the first public meeting called by this Association, at
the Crown and Anchor, Strand, on the 28th of February,
1837, a very important petition to the House of Com-
mons was adopted and signed by 3,000 persons ; it was
drawn up by the Secretary of the Association, Mr. W.
Lovett, and the prayer of that petition was an abstract
of the document to which the name of the People's
Charter was subsequently given. Mr. Roebuck was
requested to present the petition to parliament, and he,
desiring to make a motion thereon, induced the Associa-
tion to call a meeting at the British Coffee House, Cock-
spur Street, in May following, of all those members of
the House of Commons, who by their speeches or writ-
ings, were supposed to be in favor of universal suffrage.
Several members attended Mr. Lovett was appointed
to introduce the subject on the part of the Association,
and after much interesting discussion, which lasted for
two evenings, four very important resolutions were agreed
to. One was a resolution for supporting Mr. Roebuck
on the motion he was to make on the petition ; one
agreeing to vote for a bill on all the principles of radical
representation ; one to vote for a bill for a reform of the
House of Lords ; and the other a resolution appointing
a committee for the drawing up of those bills.
2. These resolutions having been fairly written out,
were signed the following day by Daniel O'Connell,
Charles Hindley, W. S. Crawford, John Fielden, T. Wak-
ley, D. W. Harvey, T. P. Thompson, J. A. Roebuck,
and Dr. Bowring. The committee appointed for drawing
up the said bills were Messrs. O'Connell, Roebuck,
Leader, Hindley, Colonel Thompson, Crawford, Lovett,
Hetherington, Vincent, Cleave, Watson, and Moore,
the last six being members of the Association. The
death of William IV. having led to a dissolution of
parliament, nothing could be done till the new one was
chosen ; and unfortunately for the motion on the petition,
Mr. Roebuck lost his seat as member for Bath. How-
ever, when the committee met, it was resolved to have
but one general act of parliament, and Messrs. Roebuck
and Lovett were appointed to prepare it, but the former
gentleman being much occupied at that period, the first
draft, was written by Mr. Lovett. This was subsequently
amended at the suggestion of the committee and other
political friends, and was finally printed and sent round
for the consideration of the Working Men's Associations
and Radical Associations of the kingdom, many of whom
sent suggestions respecting it. The first edition of the
Charter was published in 1838. It may be well to state
that such was the respect entertained by great numbers
of the middle classes in favor of the exertions of the
Working Men's Association in the great work of political
and social reform at that period, that the first meeting
called in London in support of the People's Charter was
called by requisition of the electors of Westminster, and
holden in Palace Yard, the High Bailiff presiding. We
regret, however, to state that all these growing promises
of good, tending to the union of the two clases in favor
of reform, were frustrated by the blustering and fighting
projects of the physical force party, who had hitherto
been engaged in the anti-poor-law warfare. These men
appealing to the violent feelings of society, soon disgusted
a great number of adherents, and ultimately by their
intolerance drove them altogether out of the ranks of
Chartism : and we are sorry to perceive that they are
still, by their mischievous conduct, trying to keep those
asunder who ought to be united against the common
enemy. We trust, however, that the efforts that are
now being made for a separation between the violence
and folly on the one hand, and just principles on the
other, will cause the middle classes to rally in support of
their peaceably-disposed working-class brethren, and
thus cause the just principles of representation contained
in the People's Charter to be triumphant for good.
London, April, 1848,
THE WORKING MEN'S ASSOCIATION
RADICAL REFORMERS OF GREAT BRITAIN
FELLOW COUNTRYMEN, Having frequently stated
our reasons for zealously espousing the great principles
of reform, we have now endeavoured to set them forth
practically. We need not reiterate the facts and unre-
futed arguments which have so often been stated and
urged in their support. Suffice it to say, that we hold
it to be an axiom in politics, that self-government by
representation is the only just foundation of political
power the only true basis of constitutional rights the
only legitimate parent of good laws ; and we hold it as
an indubitable truth, that all government which is based
on any other foundation, has a perpetual tendency to
degenerate into anarchy or despotism, or to beget class
and wealth idolatry on the one hand, poverty and misery
on the other.
While, however, we contend for the principle of self-
government, we admit that laws will only be just in
proportion as the people are enlightened, on which,
socially and politically, the happiness of all must depend ;
but as self-interest, unaccompanied by virtue, seeks its
own exclusive benefit, so will the exclusive and privileged
classes of society ever seek to perpetuate their power,
and to proscribe the enlightenment of the people.
Hence we are induced to believe that the enlightenment
of all will sooner emanate from the exercise of political
power by all the people, than by their continuing to
trust to the selfish government of the few.
A strong conviction of these truths, coupled, as that
conviction is, with the belief that most of our political
and social evils can be traced to corrupt and exclusive
legislation and that the remedy will be found in ex-
tending to the people at large, the exercise of those
rights, now monopolized by a few, has induced us to
make some exertions towards embodying our principles
in the following Charter.
We are the more inclined to take some practicable step
in favor of reform, from the frequent disappointments
the cause has experienced. We have heard eloquent
effusions in favor of political equality, from the hustings
and the senate house, suddenly change into prudent
reasonings on property privileges, at the winning smile
of the minister. We have seen depicted, in glowing
language, bright patriotic promises of the future, which
have left impressions on us more lasting than the perfidy
or apostacy of the writers. We have seen one zealous
Reformer after another desert us, as his party was tri-
umphant, or his interests served. We have perceived
the tone of those whom we have held as champions of
our cause, lowered to the accommodation of selfish
electors, or restrained by the slavish fear of losing their
seats. We have, therefore, resolved to test the sincerity
of the remainder, by proposing that something shall be
done in favor of those principles they profess to admire.
In June last, we called a general meeting of our mem
bers, and invited to attend that meeting all those mem-
bers of parliament, who, by their speeches and writings,
we were induced to believe were advocates of Universal
Suffrage. Several did attend, and after some discussion,
another meeting was proposed, at which several members
of parliament pledged themselves by resolutions signed
by their own hands, " that they would bring in and sup-
port a Bill for Universal Suffrage, Equal Representation,
Short Parliaments, the Ballot, <^c." They also passed
another resolution at that meeting, appointing persons
to draw up such Bill.
Many circumstances transpired to cause the great delay
that took place, but the following outline of an Act of
Parliament is the result of our exertions. As a Bill in
detail, embracing all the legal technicalities required,
would be very expensive in the printing, and but ill
adapted for the general reader, the present outline has
It has often been urged, that Universal Suffrage, as
well as all the other essentials to the free exercise of that
right, could not be reduced to practice. This is, there-
fore, an attempt to show the contrary ; and we think it
would be practically found to be a simpler, cheaper, and
better mode of securing to the whole people their elective
rights, than the present expensive machinery, by which
the rich and ambitious few are enabled to pauperize and
enslave the industrious many.
Although this may be a new form of putting forward
our claims, they are in themselves by no means new.
In former times, parliaments were only sessional, and the
members received pay for their attendance. In the year
1780, the Duke of Richmond introduced a Bill into the
House of Lords, for the purpose of establishing Annual
Parliaments, and giving the right of voting to every man
not contaminated by crime nor incapacitated for want of
reason. Three years after this, in his celebrated letter
to Colonel Sharman, he says, " The subject of parlia-
mentary reform is that which, of all others, most deserves
the attention of the public, as I conceive it would include
every other advantage which a nation can wish ; and I
have no hesitation in saying, that from every considera-
tion which I have been able to give to this great ques-
tion, that for many years has occupied my mind,
and from every day's experience to the present hour,
I am more and more convinced that the RESTORING
the right of voting to every man universally, who is not
incapacitated by nature for want of reason, or by law
for the commission of crimes, together with annual elec-
tions, is the only reform that can be effectual and perma-
In 1780, the electors of Westminster, in public meet-
ing, appointed a committee, out of which a sub-committee
was appointed to take into consideration the election of
members of parliament. Charles James Fox, the leader
of the Whigs, and Thomas Brand Hollis, Esq., were the
chairmen of these committees. In their report to the
electors they recommended
1. Annual Parliaments.
2. Universal Suffrage.
3. Equal Voting Districts.
4. No Property Qualification,
5. Voting by Ballot.
6. Payment of Members.
The " Society of Friends of the People," was estab-
lished in 1792, by Chas. Grey, Esq., (now Earl Grey,)
the Hon. Thos. Erskiue, Mr. (afterwards Sir James)
Mackintosh, several noblemen and members of the
House of Commons. In 1795, they resolved to publish
a Declaration, in which the right of voting should be so
moderate that there should be no condition in life in which
it might not be acquired by labour, by industry, or
These are the doings of the Whigs of former times,
persons whose speeches on every other subject our modern
Whigs quote with ancestoral reverence, as texts from
hoi}' writ. Like every other irresponsible body, they
have, however, degenerated. The only remedy for
the evil, is to render Whig, Tory, and Radical legisla-
tors alike responsible to the people ; and to instruct the
people in a knowledge of their rights and duties.
We could wish it to be engraven on the memory of
every Reformer, " that the people must be free; in propor-
tion as they Will it," not by foolishly lending them-
selves to bigotry or party to become the instruments of
the conceited, or selfishly ambitious, as they have too
often done nor by violently overthrowing the empire of
title, the folly of privilege, or the dominion of wealth \
for the experience of the past has clearly written for our
guidance, that a change of men is not always a reforma-
tion in principle ; and when a knowledge of their rights
and duties shall have taught the people that their own
vices and ignorance are the chief instruments by which
they are bowed to the dust, titles, privileges, and wealth
will lose their potency to enslave them.
Fellow-countrymen, the object we contemplated in the
drawing up of this Bill was to cause the Radicals of the
kingdom to form, if possible, a concentration of their
principles in a practical form, upon which they could be
brought to unite, and to which they might point, as a
CHARTER they are determined to obtain.
Copies of this outline were forwarded to most of the
Working Men's Associations and Radical Associations
in the kingdom, and it has met with general approbation.
It has been adopted at several large public meetings in
different parts of the country, and, among others, at the
great Birmingham meeting of the 6th of August, 1838,
v. here upwards of 200,000 persons were present. We also
received very valuable suggestions for its improvement
from a great number of societies, and this revision is
made (as far as our judgement deems it reasonable) to
accord with the wishes of the majority. We still court
suggestions for its improvement, our object being to
make the details as perfect as theory will enable us to
do, especially as we have the history of the Reform Bill,
and all its anomalies, fresh in our remembrance to profit
The next Session of Parliament^ when the great
NATIONAL PETITION is presented, individuals will be
selected to introduce this CHARTER to the Legislature,
and we anticipate that by that time a considerable number
will be added to the members who are now pledged to
support it. In the interim, we hope that electors and
non-electors will continue to make it the pledge of their
candidates ; will seek to extend its circulation ; talk over
its principles ; and resolve, that as public opinion forced
the Whig Reform Bill, so in like manner shall this Bill
eventually become the law of England.
In drawing it up we have found some difficulty in fixing
the requisite qualifications of electors, because of many of
the barbarous and unjust laws, which corrupt and selfish
legislators have enacted. While, for instance, we agree
with most reformers that felony should lead to the depri-
vation of political rights, we think the law which makes
it felony for a boy to" steal an apple, or to kill a wild
animal which crosses his path, is as cruel as it is unjust.
W r e also think that the present alien laws, which had
their origin in the bigoted and prejudiced feelings of
other days, should be so modified as to permit the right of
citizenship to those, who for some definite period, have
taken up their abode among us, and are willing to declare
their allegiance as citizens ; and thus break down those
barriers which kingcraft and priestcraft have erected to
divide man from his brother man.
Among the suggestions we received for improving this
Charter, is one for embracing women among the posses-
sion of the franchise. Against this reasonable proposi-
tion we have no just argument to adduce, but only to
express our fears of entertaining it, lest the false estimate
man entertains of this half of the human family may
cause his ignorance and prejudice to be enlisted to retard
the progress of his own freedom.
And, therefore, we deem it far better to lay down just
principles, and look forward to the rational improvement
of society, than to entertain propositions which may
retard the measure we wish to promote.
In conclusion, we think that no unprejudiced man
can reflect on the present unjust and exclusive state of
the franchise, where property, however unjustly ac-
quired, is possessed of rights, that knowledge the most
extensive, and conduct the most exemplary, fail to attain
can witness the demoralizing influence of wealth in
the legislature the bribery, perjury, tumults, and dis-
orders attendant on the present mode of elections but
must admit that the object contemplated is worthy of the
task we have imposed upon ourselves, however we may
have fallen short in providing an efficient remedy.
We remain, fellow-countrymen, yours respectfully, the
members of the Working Men's Association.
Signed by the Committee, on their behalf,
JOHN JAFFRAY, Bookbinder.
WILLIAM SAVAGE, Warehouseman.
HENRY MITCHELL, Turner.
JOHN SKELTON, Shoemaker.
DANIEL BINYON, Labourer.
RICHARD CAMERON, Bracemaker.
JAMES LAWRANCE, Painter.
WILLIAM MOORE, Carver.
ARTHUR DYSON, Compositor.
JOHN ROGERS, Tailor.
WILLIAM ISAACS, Typefounder.
JAMES JENKINSON, Engraver.
EDWARD THOMAS, Warehouseman.
HENRY HETHERINGTON, Treasurer
WILLIAM LOVETT, Secretary
6, Upper North Place, Gray's Inn Road.
London, May 8, 1838.*
Date of the first edition previous to the great Birmingham meeting
THE PEOPLE'S CHARTER;
BEING THE OUTLINE OF AN ACT
TO PROVIDE FOR THE
Just Representation of the People of Great Britain and Ireland
IN THE COMMONS' HOUSE OF PAELIAMENT,
EMBRACING THE PRINCIPLES OF
UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE, NO PROPERTY QUALIFICA-
TION, ANNUAL PARLIAMENTS, EQUAL REPRE-
SENTATION, PAYMENT OF MEMBERS,
AND VOTE BY BALLOT.
Prepared by a Committee of Twelve Persons, Six Members of Par-
liament and Six Members of the London Working Men's Associ-
ation, and addressed to the People of the United Kingdom.
t to insure, in as far as it is possible by
human forethought and wisdom, the just government of
the people, it is necessary to subject those who have the
power of making the laws to a wholesome and strict
responsibility to those whose duty it is to obey them
And whereas, this responsibility is best enforced through
the instrumentality of a body which emanates directly
from, and is itself immediately subject to, the whole
people, and which completely represents their feelings
and their interests ;
And, whereas, as the Commons' House of Parliament
now exercises, in the name, and on the supposed behalf
of the people, the power of making the laws, it ought, in
order to fulfil with wisdom and with honesty the great
duties imposed on it, to be made the most faithful and
accurate representation of the people's wishes, feelings,
and interests ;
Be it therefore enacted, That from and after the passing
of this Act, every male inhabitant of these realms be
entitled to vote for the election of a Member of Parlia-
ment ; subject, however, to the following conditions :
1. That he be a native of these realms, or a foreigner
who has lived in this country upwards of two years, and
2. That he be twenty-one years of age.
3. That he be not proved insane when the lists of
voters are revised.
4. That he be not undergoing the sentence of the law
at the time when called upon to exercise the electoral
5. That his electoral rights be not suspended for
bribery at elections, or for personation, or for forgery of
election certificates, according to the penalties of this
Be it enacted, I. That for the purpose of obtaining an-
equal representation of the people in the Commons'
House of Parliament, the united kingdom be divided
into three hundred electoral districts**
II. That each such district contain, as nearly as may
be, an equal number of inhabitants.
III. That the number of inhabitants be taken from
the last census, and as soon as possible after the next
ensuing decennial census shall have been taken, the
electoral districts ba made to conform thereto.
IV. That each electoral district be named after the-
principal city or borough within its limits..
V. That each electoral district return one representa-
tive to sit in the Commons' House of Parliament.
VI. That the Secretary of State, for the Home De-
partment, shall appoint three competent persons as com-
missioners, and as many sub-commissioners as may be
necessary for settling the boundaries of each of the 300
electoral districts, and so on from time to time, when-
ever a new decennial census of the people shall be taken.
VII. That the necessary expenses of the said com-
missioners, sub-commissioners, clerks, and other persons
employed by them in the performance of their duties,
be paid out of the public treasury.
Be it enacted, That for the purpose of procuring an
accurate registration of voters for finally adjudicating
in all cases of objections made against persons claiming
to be registered for receiving the nominations of Mem-
bers of Parliament, and returning officers, and declaring
their election as well as for conducting and superin-
* There are, say 6,000,000 of men eligible to vote ; this number,,
divided by 300, gives 20,000 to each member.
tending all matters connected with registration, nomina-
tion, and elections, according to the provisions of this
Act the following officers be appointed :
1. Returning officers for each electoral district.
2. Deputy returning officers for each district.
3. A registration clerk for every parish containing
number of inhabitants, or for every two or more
parishes, if united for the purposes of this Act.
RETURNING OFFICER AND HIS DUTIES.
Be it enacted, I. That at the first general election after
the passing of this Act, a returning officer be elected for
every electoral district throughout the kingdom, and so
in like manner at the end of every year.
II. That, at the end of every such period, the return-
ing officer for each district be nominated in like manner,
and elected at the same time as the Member of Parlia-
ment for the district ; he shall be eligible to be re-elected.
III. That vacancies occasioned by the death, removal,
or resignation of the returning officer, shall in like man-
ner be filled up as vacancies for Members of Parliament,
for the unexpired term of one year.
IV. That every returning officer shall appoint a deputy
returning officer for the day of election, for every ballot-
ing place within his district, and in all cases be respon-
sible for the just fulfilment of the duties of such deputies.
V. That it be the duty of the returning officer to
appoint a registration clerk for every parish within his
district containing number of inhabitants, or for
every two or more parishes, if united for the purposes of
this Act ; and that in all cases he be responsible for the
just fulfilment of the duties of such clerks.
VI. That he also see that proper balloting places, and
such other erections as may be necessary, be provided
by each parish, (or any number that may be united) and
that the ballot boxes be made and provided according to
the provisions of this Act.
VII. That he receive the lists of voters from all the
parishes in his district, in which list shall be marked or
specified the names of the persons who have been ob-
jected to by the registration clerks, or any other persons.
VIII. That between the first of April and the first of
May in each year, he shall hold open courts of adjudica-
tion at such a number of places within his district as he
may deem necessary, of which courts (place and time of
meeting) he shall cause due notice to be given in each
parish of the district, and at the same time invite all
persons who have made objections, and who have been
objected to. And after hearing the statements that may
be made by both parties, he shall finally adjudicate
whether the voter's name be placed on the register or
IX. That the returning officer shall then cause to be
made out alphabetical lists of all the registered voters in
all the parishes within his district ; which lists, signed
and attested by himself, shall be used at all elections for
the district. Such lists to be sold to the public at rea-
sonably low prices.
X. That the returning officer receive all nominations
for the member of his district, as well as for the return-
ing officer of his district ; and shall give public notice of
the same according to the provisions of this Act; he
shall also receive from the Speaker of the House of
Commons the orders for any new election, in case of the
death or resignation of the Member of the district ; as
well as the orders to superintend and conduct the election
of any other district, in case of the death or resignation
of the returning officer of such district.
XT. That the returning officer shall also receive the
returns from all the parishes within his district on the
day of the election ; and on the day following the election
he shall proclaim the state of the ballot as directed by
this Act, and perform the several duties appertaining to
his office, as herein made and provided.
XII. That the returning officer be paid for fulfilling
the duties of his office the sum of per annum, a&
herein- after mentioned.
XIII. That upon a petition being presented to the
House of Commons, by at least one hundred qualified
electors of the district, against any returning officer, of
the same, complaining of corruption in the exercise of
his office, or of incapacity, such complaints shall be
enquired into by a committee of the House, consisting
of seven members ; and, on their report being read, the
members present shall then determine whether such
returning officer be or be not guilty, or be or be not in-
XIV. That, for conducting the first elections after the
passing of this Act, a returning officer for each district
lie tempararily appointed by the Secretary of State, to
perform the duties prescribed by this Act. He shall
resign his office as soon as the new one is appointed, and
be paid as hereinafter mentioned. See Penalties.
DEPUTY RETURNING OFFICER AND HIS DUTIES.
Be it enacted, I. That a deputy returning officer
be appointed by the district returning officer, to pre-
side at each balloting place on the day of election ;
such deputy to be subject and responsible to his au-
thority, as well as to the provisions of this Act.
II. That it be the duty of the deputy returning officer
to provide a number of competent persons, not ex-
ceeding to aid him in taking the ballot,
and for performing the necessary business thereof.
III. That the deputy returning officer shall see that
proper registration lists are provided, and that the bal-
lot begin at six o'clock in the morning precisely, and
end at six o'clock in the afternoon of the same day.
IV. That the deputy returning officer, in the pre-
sence of the agents of the candidates, examine and seal
the balloting boxes previously to the commencement of
the balloting ; he shall, in like manner, declare the
number of votes for each candidate, and shall cause a
copy'o/ the same, signed by himself, to be forwarded to
the returning officer of the district, and another copy
to the registration clerk of the parish.
V. That the deputy returning officer be paid for hi*
services as hereinafter mentioned. See Penalties.
REGISTRATION CLERK, AND HIS DUTIES.
Be it enacted, I. That a registration clerk be ap-
pointed by the district returning officer for every parish
within his district containing inha-
bitants ; or for every two or more parishes that may
be united for the purposes of this Act ; such clerk to be
responsible to his authority, as well as to the provisions
of this Act.
II. That for the purpose of obtaining a correct regis-
tration of all the voters in each electoral district, the
registration clerk of every parish, as aforesaid, through-
out the kingdom, shall, on or before the first of Feb-
ruary in each year, take or cause to be taken round to
every dwelling house, poor house, or union workhouse in
his parish, a printed notice of the following form :
Mr. John Jones you are hereby required, within six days
from the date hereof, to Jill up this list with the names of all male
inhabitants of your house, q/"21 years of age and upwards, stat-
ing their respective ages, and the time they have resided with you ;
or, in neglect thereof, to forfeit the sum of one pound for every
A. B., Registration Clerk.
6, Upper North Place.
JV.JB. This list will be called for at the expiration of six days
from this date.
III. That, at the expiration of six days, as aforesaid,
the registration clerk shall collect, or cause to be col-
lected, the aforesaid lists, and shall cause to be made
out from them an alphabetical list of all persons who
are of the proper age and residence to qualify them as
voters, according to the provisions of this Act.
IV. That if the registration clerk shall have any
just reasons to believe that the names, ages, or time of
residence of any person inserted in the aforesaid list
are falsely entered, or not in accordance with the pro-
visions of this Act, he shall not refuse to insert them
in his list of voters, but he shall write the words " ob-
jected to" opposite such names; and so in like manner
against the names of every other person he may have
just reason to consider ineligible according to the provi-
sions of this Act.
V. That on or before the 8th of March in each year,
the registration clerk shall cause the aforesaid alphabe-
tical lists of voters to be stuck against all church and
chapel doors, market-houses, town-halls, session-houses^
poor-houses, and union work-houses, and such other con-
spicuous places as he may deem necessary, from the 8th
of March till the 22nd. He shall also cause a copy
of such list to lie at his office, to be perused by any
person, without a fee, at all reasonable hours; and
copies of the said list shall be sold to the public at a .
reasonably low price.
VI. That on or before the 25th of March the regis-
tration clerk shall take, or cause to be taken, a copy
of the aforesaid list of voters to the returning officer of
his district, which list shall be signed by himself, and be
presented as a just and impartial list, according to his
judgement, of all persons within his parish who are eligi-
Lie according to their claims, as well as of those who*
have been objected to by himself or other persons.
VII. That the registration clerk shall attend the
court of adjudication, according to the notice he shall
receive from the returning officer, to revise his list, and
shall perform all the duties of his office as herein pro-
VIII. That the registration clerk be paid for his ser-
vices in the manner hereinafter mentioned.
ARRANGEMENT FOR REGISTRATION.
Be it enacted, I. That every householder, as well as
every person occupying or having charge of a dwelling-
house, poor-house, or union workhouse, who shall receive
a notice from the registration clerk as aforesaid, shall
cause the said notice to be correctly filled up with the
names, ages, and time of residence of every male in-
mate or inhabitant of his or her house, of twenty-one
years of age and upwards, within six days of the date
of such notice, and shall carefully preserve the same till
it is called for by the registration clerk, or his proper
II. That when the list of voters is made out from
these notices, and stuck on the church doors and places
as aforesaid, any person who finds his 'name not in-
serted in the list, and who believes he is duly qualified
as a voter, shall, on presenting to the registration clerk
a notice in the following form, have his name added to
the list of voters :
T, John Jones, carpenter, residing at ,
in the district of , being twenty-one years of
age, and having resided at the above place during the last three
months, require to be placed on the list of voters, as a qualified
elector for the said district.
III. That any person who is qualified as a voter in
any electoral district, and shall have removed to any
other parish within the said district, on presenting to
the registration clerk of the parish he then resides in,
his voter's certificate as proof of this, or the written tes-
timony of any registration clerk who has previously re-
gistered him, he shall be entitled to be placed on the
list of voters as aforesaid.
IV. That if an elector of any parish in the district
have any just grounds for believing that any person
disqualified by this Act has been put upon any parish
register within the said district, he may, at any season-
able hour, between the 1st and 20th day of March,
cause the following notices to be delivered : one at the
residence of the registration clerk, and the other at the
residence of the person objected to ; and the registration
clerk shall, in like manner, send notice of the grounds of
objection to all persons he may object to, as afore-
TO THE REGISTRATION CLERK.
I, William Smith, elector of the parish of
in the district of object to A. B. being on the
register of voters, believing him to be disqualified.
Dated this day, fyc.
TO THE PERSON OBJECTED TO.
Mr. A. B. of , I, William Smith, elector of the
parish of , in the district of ,
object to your name being on the register of voters, for the fol-
lowing reasons : (here state the reasons) and I will support
my objections by proofs before the returning officer of the district.
Dated this day, fyc.
V. That if the person thus objecting neglect to attend
the court of the returning officer at the proper time to
state his objections, he shall be fined ten shillings for
every such neglect, the same to be levied on his goods
and chattels, provided he is not prevented from attend-
ing by sickness or accident, in which case his medical
certificate, or a certificate signed by ten voters certify-
ing such fact, shall be forwarded to the returning officer,
who shall then determine whether the claim to be put
on the register be allowed or not.
VI. That if the person objected to fails to attend the
court of the returning officer at the proper time, to sub-
stantiate his claim, his name shall be erased from the
register ; provided he is not prevented by sickness or
accident, in which case a certificate shall be forwarded,
and the returning officer shall determine, as before
VII. That if it should be proved before the return-
ing officer, in his open court of adjudication, that_any
person has frivolously .or vexatiously objected to any '
one being placed on the list of voters, such person ob-
jecting shall be fined twenty shillings and expenses, the
same to be levied on his goods and chattels, and paid
to the person objected to.
VIII. That as early as possible after the lists are
revised as aforesaid, the returning officer shall cause a
copy of the same to be forwarded to every registration
clerk within his district.
IX. That the registration clerk of every parish shall
then correctly copy from such list the name, age, and
residence of every qualified elector within his parish
or parishes, into a book made for that purpose, and shall
place a number opposite each name. He shall then,
within days, take, or cause to be taken, to
all such electors, a voter's certificate of the following
form, the number on which shall correspond with the
number in the aforesaid book :
No. 123. This is to certify that James Jones, of
is eligible to vote for one person to be returned to Parliament (as
u'ell as for the returning officer) for the district of
for one year from the date hereof.
X. That if any person lose his voter's certificate by
fire, or any other accident, he shall not have anew cer-
tificate till the next registration ; but on the day of any
election, if he can establish his identity, on the testi-
mony of two witnesses, to the satisfaction of the registra-
tion clerk, as being the qualified voter described in the
registration book, he shall be allowed to vote.
XI. That the returning officer is hereby authorized
and commanded to attach any small parishes to any
adjacent parish within his district, for the purposes of this
Act, and not otherwise ; and in like manner to unite all
extra-parochial places to some adjacent parish. See
ARRANGEMENT FOR NOMINATIONS.
Be it enacted, I. That for the purpose of guarding
against too great a number, who might otherwise be
heedlessly proposed, as well as for giving time for the
electors to inquire into the merits of the persons who
may be nominated for Members of Parliament, as well
as for returning officers, that all nominations be taken,
as hereinafter directed.
II. That for all general elections of Members of Parli-
ament a requisition of the following form, signed by
at least one hundred qualified electors of the district,
be delivered to the returning officer of the district, be-
tween the 1st and 10th day of May in each year; and
that such requisition constitute the nomination of suck
person as a candidate for the district :
We, the undersigned electors of the district of ,
recommend A. B-, of , as a fit and proper person
to represent the people of this district in the Commons' House of
Parliament, the said A. B. leing qualified to be an elector ac-
cording to the provisions of this Act.
III. That the returning officer of every electoral
district shall, on or before the 13th of May in each year,
cause a list of all the candidates thus nominated to be
stuck up against all church and chapel doors, market-
houses, town-halls, session-houses, poor-houses and
union workhouses, and 'such other conspicuous places
within his district as he may deem necessary.
IV. That whenever a vacancy is occasioned in any
district, by the death, resignation, or other cause, of the
Member of Parliament, the returning officer of that dis-
trict shall, within three days after the receipt'of his orders
from the Speaker of the House of Commons, give
notice thereof in all the parishes of his district, in the
manner described for giving notices, and he shall at the
same time request all nominations to be made as afore-
said within ten days from the receipt of his order, and
shall also appoint the day of election within eighteen days
from the receipt of such order from the Speaker of the
House of Commons.
V. That if from any circumstance no person has been
nominated as a Candidate for the district on or before the
1 Oth of May, persons may then be nominated in the
manner described as aforesaid, at any time previous to
the 20th day of May, but not after that date.
VI. That at the first election, after the passing of this
Act, and at the expiration of every year, the nomina-
tion of candidates for the returning officer be made in
the same manner as for Members of Parliament,^ and
nominations for vacancies that may occur in like manner.
VII. That if two or more persons are nominated as
aforesaid for members to serve in Parliament for the
district, the returning officer shall, at any time between
the 15th and 31st of May, (Sundays excepted), appoint
such times and places (not exceeding ) as
he shall think most convenient to the electors of the dis-
trict for the candidates to appear before them, then and
there to explain their views and solicit the suffrage of
VIII. That the returning officer see that the places
above described be convenient for the purpose, and that
as many such erections be put up as'may be necessary ;
the same to be paid for by the returning officer, and
charged in his account as hereinafter mentioned.
XI. That for the purpose of keeping good order and
public decorum, the returning officer either take the
chair at such meetings himself, or appoint a deputy
for that purpose.
X. That provided only one candidate be proposed
for a Member of Parliament for the district by the time
hereinbefore mentioned, the returning officer shall cause
notice to be given as hereinafter mentioned, that such
candidate is elected a member for the district, and if
only one candidate be proposed for the returning officer,
he shall in like manner be declared duly elected.
XI. That no other qualification shall be required
than the choice of electors, according to the provisions
of this Act, providing that no persons, (excepting the
Cabinet Ministers), be eligible to serve in the Com-
mons' House of Parliament, who are in the receipt of
any emolument derivable from any place or places held
under government, or of retired allowances arising there-
from. See Penalties.
ARRANGEMENTS FOR ELECTIONS.
Be it enacted, I. That a general election of Mem-
bers of Parliament for all the electoral districts of the
United Kingdom take place on the first Monday in
June in each year ; and that all vacancies by death
or otherwise, shall be filled up as nearly as possible
within eighteen days after they occur,
II. That a general election of returning officers for
all the districts take place at the expiration of every
year, on the first Monday in June, and at the same
time Members of Parliament are to be elected ; and
all vacancies be filled up, as nearly as possible, within,
eighteen days after they occur.
III. That every person who has been registered as
aforesaid, and who has a voter's certificate, shall have the
right of voting in the district in which he has been regis-
tered, and in that only, and of voting for the Members
of Parliament for that district, and the returning officer
for the district, and for those only.
IV. That for the purpose of taking the votes of the
qualified electors, the parish officer in every pari&h of
the district, (or in every two or more parishes if united
for that purpose), shall cause proper places to be pro-
vided, so as to admit of the arrangements described in
Schedule A ; and so constructed (either permanently or
temporarily as they may think proper) that the votes
may be taken with due despatch, and so as to secure the
elector while voting from being inspected by any other
V. That the parish officers of every parish in this dis-
trict provide a sufficient number of balloting boxes,
made after a model described in Schedule B, (or made
on one plan by persons appointed to make them, as was
the case with weights and measures,) and none but such
boxes, duly certified, shall be used.
VI. That immediately preceding the commencement
of the balloting, each ballot-box shall be opened by the
deputy returning officer, (or otherwise examined as [the
case may be), in the presence of an agent appointed by
each candidate, and shall then be sealed by him and by
the agents of the candidates, and not again be opened
until the balloting is finally closed, when notice shall
be given to such of the agents of the candidates as may
then be present to attend the opening of the boxes,[and
ascertaining the number of votes for each candidate.
VII. That the deputy returning officer preside in
the front of the ballot-box, and see that the balloting is
conducted with strict impartiality and justice ; and that
the various clerks, assistants, and parish constables pro-
perly perform their respective duties, and that strict
order and decorum be preserved among the friends of
the candidates, as well as among all persons employed
in conducting the election ; and he is hereby authorized
and empowered to cause all persons to be taken into
custody who interrupt the proceedings of the election,
seek to contravene the provisions of this Act, or fail to
obey his lawful authority.
VIII. That during the time the balloting is going
on, two agents of each candidate may be in the space
fronting the ballot-box, and immediately behind the
deputy returning officer, in order that they may see
that the election is fairly conducted ; such persons to be
provided by the deputy returning officer with cards of
admission, and to pass in and out by the entrance as-
IX. That the registration clerk of every parish in
the district, who has been appointed for the purposes
of registration, be at the balloting place, in the station
assigned him, previously to the commencement of the
balloting and see that no person pass on to the balloting
place till he has examined his certificate, and seen that
it corresponds with the registration list.
X. That the parish constables and the officers sta-
tioned at the entrance of the balloting place, shall not
permit any person to enter unless he shews his voter's
certificate, except the persons employed in conducting
the election ; or those persons who have proved the
loss of their voter's certificate.
XL That at the end of every year, or whenever the
returning officer is elected at the same time as the mem-
ber for the district, a division shall be made in the bal-
loting place, and the boxes and balloting so arranged
as to ensure the candidates the strictest impartiality and
justice, by preventing the voter from giving two votes
for either of the candidates.
XII. That on the day of election, the balloting com-
mence at six o'clock in the forenoon, and terminate at
six o'clock in the afternoon of the same day.
XIII. That when any voter's certificate is examined
byjthe registration clerk and found to be correct, he shall
be allowed to pass on to the next barrier, where a
balloting ball shall be given him by the person ap-
pointed for that purpose ; he shall then pass on to the
balloting box, and with all due despatch, shall put the
balloting ball into the aperture opposite the name of
the candidate he wishes to vote for, after which he shall
without delay, leave the room by the door assigned for
the purpose. See Schedules A and B.
XIV. That at the close of the balloting, the deputy
returning officer, in the presence of the agents of the
candidates and other persons present, shall break open
the seals of the balloting box, and ascertain the number
for each candidate : he shall then cause copies of the same
to be publicly posted outside the balloting place, and
immediately forward (by a trusty messenger) a copy
of the same, signed by himself and the agents present,
to the returning officer of the district; .he shall then
deliver a similar copy to the registration clerk, who shall
carefully preserve the same, and produce it if necessary.
XV. That the persons employed as assistants for in-
specting the certificates, and attending on the balloting,
be paid as hereafter mentioned.
XVI. That all the expenses of registration, nomina-
tion, and election, as aforesaid, together with the sala-
ries of the returning officers, registration clerks, assist-
ants, constables, and such other persons as may be neces-
sary, as well as the expenses of all balloting places,
balloting boxes, hustings, and other necessaries for the
purposes of this Act, be paid out of an equitable dis-
trict-rate, which a District Board, composed of one pa-
rochial officer chosen by each of the parishes in the dis-
trict, orfor any two or more parishes, if united for the
purposes of this Act, are hereby empowered and com-
manded to levy on all householders within the dis-
XVII. That all expenses necessary for 'the purposes
of this Act incurred within the district, be paid by the
District Board as aforesaid, or their treasurer ; that the
salaries of all officers and assistants required for the pur-
poses of this Act be fixed and paid by the said Board
according to the expenses and duties of the various
XVIII. That all accounts of receipts and expendi-
ture for electoral purposes shall be kept distinct, and
be audited by auditors appointed by the District Board
as aforesaid ; copies of which accounts shall be printed
for the use of the respective parishes in the district.
XIX. That all canvassing for Members of Parli-
ament, as well as for returning officers, is hereby declared
to be illegal, and meetings for that purpose during the
balloting on the day of election, are hereby also declared
to be illegal. See Penalties.
DURATION OF PARLIAMENT.
Be it enacted, I. That the Members of the House of
Commons chosen as aforesaid, shall meet on the first
Monday in June in each year, and continue their sit-
tings from time to time as they may deem it convenient,
* The Committee having considered that, as the duties and expenses
of all these various offices will greatly vary, according to their loca-
lities, it will be unwise to have a sum fixed by Parliament, and paid
out of the treasury. Believing, moreover, that a just system of repre-
sentation will soon purify the local corruptions that exist, they think
that the united expenditure will be much less under the immediate
superintendence of the local authorities, when responsible to the peo-
ple, than under the management of Government and their subordinate
till the first Monday in June following, when the next
new Parliament shall be chosen ; they shall be eligible
to be re-elected.
II. That during an adjournment they be liable to be
called together by the Executive in case of emergency.
III. That a register be kept of the daily attendance
of each Member, which, at the close of the session shall
be printed as a sessional paper, showing how the Mem-
bers have attended.
PAYMENT OF MEMBERS.
Be it enacted, I. That every Member of the House of
Commons be entitled, at the close of the session, to a
writ of expenses on the Treasury, for his legislative du-
ties in the public service ; and shall be paid
RESIGNATIONS AND DEATHS.
I. That any Member of the House of Commons who
may wish to resign his seat, shall notify the same to the
Speaker, who is hereby authorised and commanded, with-
out delay, to cause the said notice to be delivered to
the district returning officer for a new election accord-
ing to the provisions of this Act.
II. That on the death of any Member of Parliament or
returning officer, the registrar of deaths, whose duty it
is to record the same, shall within three days after he
has received such notice, forward an account of such
death to the Speaker of the House of Commons, who is
hereby authorised and commanded to give his orders as
aforesaid ; provided always, that if such Members or
returning officers should have died abroad, the next of
kin of such deceased person shall give notice as aforesaid
as early as possible after such death.
Be it enacted, I. That if any person cause himself
to be registered in more than one electoral district, and
vote in more than one such district, upon conviction
thereof before any two justices of the peace in either
of such districts, he shall incur for the first offence, the
* The Committee understand that the DAILY payment of Members
of Parliament has operated beneficially in Canada : but they fear that
such mode of payment holds out a motive for lengthening the sessions
unnecessarily : and if the time of sitting is limited by law, it may lead
to too hasty legislation, both of which evils are obviated by an annual
penalty of three months' imprisonment, and for the
second offence twelve months' im prisonment.
II. That any person who shall be convicted as afore-
said of wilfully neglecting to fill up his or her notice
within the proper time, or of leaving out the name of
any inmate in his or her notice, shall for the first offence
incur the penalty of one pound for every name omitted:
and for the second offence incur the penalty of three
months' imprisonment, and be deprived of his elective
rights for three years.
III. That any person who shall be convicted as afore-
said of forging any name, age, or time of residence on
any notice, shall for the first offence incur the penalty
of thiee months' imprisonment, and for the scond of-
fence three months' imprisonment, and be deprived of his
elective rights for three years.
IV. That any person who shall be convicted as afore-
said of having in any manner obtained the certificate of
an elector other than his own, and of having voted or
attempted to vote by means of such false certificate,
shall for the first offence incur the penalty of three
months' imprisonment, and for the second offence three
months' imprisonment and be deprived of his elective
rights for three years.
V. That any person who shall be convicted as afore-
said of having forged a voter's certificate, or of having
forged the name of any person to any certificate ; or of
having voted or attempted to vote on such forged cer-
tificate, knowing such to have been forged, shall for
the first offence incur the penalty of three months' impri-
sonment, and for the second offence three months' im-
prisonment and be deprived of his elective rights for three
VI. That any person who shall be convicted as afore-
said of having forged, or caused to be forged, the names
of any voters to a requisition nominating a Member of
Parliament or returning officer, shall for the first of-
fence incur the penalty of three months' imprisonment,
and for the second offence three months' imprisonment,
and be deprived of his elective rights for three years.
VII. That any person who shall be convicted as afore-
said of bribery, in order to secure his election, shall for
the first offence incur the penalty of two years' impri-
sonment, and for the second offence shall be imprisoned
two years, and be deprived of his elective rights for five
VIII. That any agent of any candidate, or any other
person, who shall be convicted as aforesaid of bribery
at any election, shall for the first offence incur the
penalty of twelve months' imprisonment, and for the
second offence twelve months' imprisonment and be
deprived of his elective rights for five years.
IX. That any person who shall be convicted as afore-
said of going from house to house, or place to place, to
solicit in any way votes in favour of any Candidate for
Parliament or returning officer, after the nomination as
aforesaid, shall for the first offence incur the penalty of
one month's imprisonment, and for the second offence
X. That any person who shall be convicted as afore-
said of calling together, or causing an election meet-
ing to be held in any district during the day of election,
shall for the first offence incur the penalty of three
months' imprisonment, and for the second offence six
XI. That any person who shall be convicted as afore-
said of interrupting the balloting, or the business of
the election, shall incur the penalty of three months'
imprisonment for the first offence, and six months' for
XII. That if any messenger who may be sent with
the state of the ballot to the returning officer, or with
any other notice, shall wilfully delay the same, or in
any way by his consent or conduct cause the same to
be delayed, on conviction as aforesaid shall incur the
penalty of six months' imprisonment.
XIII. That any returning officer who shall be con-
victed as aforesaid of having neglected to appoint pro-
per officers as directed by this Act, to see that proper
balloting places and balloting boxes are provided, and
to give the notices and perform the duties herein required
of him, he shall forfeit for each case of neglect the sum
XIV. That if any returning officer be found guilty of
bribery or corrupt practices in the execution of any of
the duties herein assigned to him, he shall incur the pen-
alty of twelve. months' imprisonment, and be deprived
of his elective rights for five years.
XV. That if any deputy returning officer be convicted
as aforesaid of. having neglected to perform any of the
duties herein assigned him, he shall forfeit for such
neglect three pounds.
XVI. That if any deputy returning officer be convicted
as aforesaid of bribery or corrupt practices in the execu-
tion of the duties of his office, he shall incur the penalty
of six months' imprisonment and the deprivation of his
elective rights for three years.
XVII. That if any registration clerk be convicted
as aforesaid of having neglected to perform any of the
duties herein assigned him, he shall forfeit for each such
case of neglect five pounds.
XVIII. That if any registration clerk be convicted as
aforesaid of bribery or corrupt practices in the execu-
tion of the duties of his office, he shall incur the penalty
of six months' imprisonment, and the deprivation of his
elective rights for three years.
XIX. That if the parochial officers in any parish ne-
glect or refuse to comply with any of the provisions of
this Act, they shall forfeit for every such neglect or non-
compliance with the provisions of this Act the sum of fifty
pounds, or in default of payment, twelve months' im-
XX. That all fines and penalties incurred under the
provisions of this Act be recoverable before any two jus-
tices of the peace, within the district where the offence
shall have been committed, and in default of payment
the said justices shall issue their warrant of distress
against the goods and chattels of the offender ; or in de-
fault of sufficient distress, he shall be imprisoned, ac-
cording to the provisions of this Act.
That all Acts and parts of Acts relating to registra-
tion, nominations, or elections of Members of Parlia-
ment as well as duration of Parliament and sitting of
Members, are hereby repealed.
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